While TVs have long served as a mechanism to entertain and help consumers tune out the world, they have also ventured into the world of video calling. Many modern HDTVs, which almost function as smaller embedded computer systems, have come to market paired with the Skype (News - Alert) client to use for high-definition video chatting.
Of course, these new HDTV and LCD-TV models must be equipped with suitable media handling support, including microphones, speakers and a webcam. In due fashion, major consumer electronics company Logitech (News - Alert) has released a TV Cam for Skype, a plug-and-play TV camera that enables users to place and receive HD video calls from the Skype-enabled 2011 Panasonic (News - Alert) Viera televisions.
With no software download required, users can instantly connect to the Internet on a recommended 1 Mbps upload and download speed and start making TV-to-TV Skype calls, TV-to-PC or Mac video calls and vice versa. The ability to connect even extends to select smartphones, such as the iPhone (News - Alert) with Skype mobile capability.
With a 78-degree wide-angle lens and high-definition 720p, as well as a pair of digital, directional microphones that cancel out noise and echo, users will be on their way seamless and carefree video calling.
"We believe making a video call to loved ones should be easy and natural," Joerg Tewes, vice president and general manager of Logitech's consumer video division, commented on the partnership between Skype, Panasonic and Logitech. "We welcomed the opportunity to work closely with respected brands such as Panasonic and Skype to make it possible for more people in more households to connect with one another from the comfort of their living room."
At a price of $149.99, the Logitech TV Cam for Skype is expected to hit U.S. stores this month, and will also be available on Panasonic’s Viera Connect Market.
Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell